Anjali, Avneet out in Olympics shooting qualifiers, gold for Czech Emmons (Lead)

August 9th, 2008 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 9 (IANS) India’s shooting campaign at the Olympics started on a disappointing note as Anjali Bhagwat and Avneet Kaur Sidhu crashed out without being able to make the grade for the finals in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle shooting competition at Beijing Shooting Range Hall here Saturday. Anjali finished 29th with a score of 393 while Avneet Kaur Sidhu was down 10 more places, shooting a poor 389.

At the top, Katerina Emmons of the Czech Republic graduated from a bronze medal four years ago to a gold, earning the first yellow metal of the Beijing Olympics.

After a perfect 400 equalling the world record in qualifications, Emmons shot 103.5 in the final, giving her a total score of 503.5, which eclipsed the previous record of 502.0 set by China’s Du Li at Athens 2004.

Lioubov Galkina of Russia with 502.1 (399 plus 103.1) got the silver and Snjezana Pejcic of Croatia with a total of 500.9 (399 plus 101.9) took the bronze in the first set of medals to be decided at these Olympic Games.

Anjali, who is competing in her third Olympics, fired rounds of 99, 99, 97 and 98 for a total of 393, way off the last shooter’s qualifying mark of 397. The third set of 97 was Anjali’s undoing.

“I could not control my movement in the second half and that made the difference,” she said.

The Women’s Air Rifle is not Anjali’s main event, however. Her next event is the 50m Rifle 3-position, where her chances ought to be better for that’s the event through which she qualified for the Olympics.

Avneet, on the other hand, did have a perfect 100 in the second set after firing 98 in the first set, but her last two sets of 96 and 95 were just not in the same class as the top shooters in this field.

The last one to make the eight-shooter final was Sylwia Bogacka of Poland who bounced back from first two rounds of 98 and 99 with 100 and 100 to total 397.

Emmons, 24, was in scintillating form, breaking Olympic records in both the qualification and final rounds. In the qualification round, Emmons shot a perfect 400, which equalled the world record already held by 10 shooters. Lioubov Galkina of Russia has done that three times.

Emmons’ effort also constituted a new Olympic record beating the previous one held by silver medallist Lioubov Galkina of Russia.

There was disappointment for home favourite and Athens 2004 gold medallist Du Li of China and World No. 1 Sonja Pfeilschifter of Germany. Du finished fifth after shooting poorly in the final, finishing with a total score of 499.6 (399 plus 100.6) while Pfeilschifter with 396 missed making the final round by one shot.

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